IoT has the capability to connect things, and it definitely offers a substantial amount of power. According to the Head of IoT at Vodafone Americas, Ludovico Vassati, 5G has increased the number of possible connections at one particular instant of time.
Mr. Vassati was speaking at a Transform 2021 fireside chat on the topic of ‘Big Trends in Edge AI and IoT.’ He pointed out how IoT devices could talk to each other and make relevant decisions accordingly as the IoT ecosystem evolves in the aftermath of COVID-19.
According to Mr. Vassati, “Multi-access edge computing or MEC is also gaining prominence and allowing us to maintain data and computing at the edge. As a result, we can see a smarter edge, capable of making decisions without sending data to the cloud and then back.” He also added, “All these technologies coming to reality and achieving maturity at this point of time shows great promises. We have lower latency and costs when thinking of sending data up and down the internet.”
Another prolific speaker at the event, Senior VP of Telecom Strategy and Engagement at DataStax, Reed Peterson, also expressed his views on the future of IoT. He also expressed his positive views on the role of 5G in transforming IoT use cases after COVID-19. According to Mr. Peterson, “It is important to differentiate compute and storage, especially with the radical shift towards digital transformation continuing in different companies.” He also added, “Now, we must look at opportunities for driving more and more data to the edge and enabling access to the data.”
While expressing favorable prospects regarding IoT, the experts also shed light on some limitations. Mr. Vassati stated that IoT systems would encounter a formidable challenge in the form of inefficiencies in gathering data from all aspects of the network. As a result, small chunks of data are collected and pushed out to the IoT ecosystem. He further emphasized the necessity of real-time access to the data, especially in uses cases such as autonomous driving. Mr. Vassati also focused on how 5G can play a critical role in the arrival of new IoT services.
Subsequently, the conversation shifted attention towards the new Vodafone satellite IoT solution. The new solution aims at helping customers in connecting the trivial share of devices, which they couldn’t connect before the arrival of 5G technology. At the same time, Vodafone has also come up with low-power technologies such as nanoband IoT. These new technologies aim at improving penetration into buildings as well as underwater surfaces.
The Vodafone America foundation was able to leverage IoT successfully during the COVID pandemic for managing vaccination logistics. It was successful in tracking the delivery of vaccine doses, monitoring temperatures of doses during the transport, and ensuring timely deliveries. Mr. Peterson stated that “The vaccine rollout had an amazing response which couldn’t have been possible without IoT services.”
As the world moves to a new phase of normalcy, IoT use cases will find new directions after COVID. Some of the notable IoT use cases which might gain prominence in the aftermath of COVID would largely deal with remote patient monitoring and healthcare. In addition, the use of IoT for monitoring solutions tailored for people in elderly homes or in assisted living facilities might gain prominence.
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